The wind has been roaring in the last days and it reminded me to post about the MAC’s (Mauritius Attitude Challenge) latest event, the Joyride! Rendez-vous at the Pointe d’Esny Yatch Club and its turquoise lagoon, breeze around 12 to 15 knots and accelerating before passing showers, the stage was set for another day of cruising in paradise. Shifting in direction though, the wind didn’t allow the planned long-distance ride on flat water along the East Coast reef but the Pointe d’Esny / Mahebourg lagoon offered a more than decent playground.
Christo “Bouletang” Tyack gave the briefing early and the support boats took care of the buoys while riders tuned their gear and made their way upwind towards the coral barrier reef.
The first race was launched in sometimes sub-planing conditions and a buoy was slightly too far upwind, but that’s how regattas go and most sailors had to tack a couple of times to reach it, save for JP de Falbaire on his kitefoil.
The breeze dropped and not everyone made it to the finish line. Boats adjusted the buoys for to the wind direction and everyone sailed back upwind to wait for an incoming rain shower, bringer of a few strong gusts. Most relaxed in the water, John Julienne came over to the boat for a beer, and we had to pick up JP who couldn’t keep his hydrofoil high enough above the reefs due to the lack of power in his kite.
Tide got lower as well and the rain approached, seemingly not blowing any more air before it: we aborted a start sequence, some decided to sail back to the beach and just as they did, gusts came in and a final race was launched. The boat signaled the time remaining before start via a flag, and at zero blasted from the downwind buoy to the windward one – thus drawing the start line with its wake and then raced across the lagoon alongside the well powered-up riders.
In total most of the guys had over 4 hours of Joyride and Fabrice Leclezio showed his domination once again, winning both races and keeping the psychological advantage on the league, although this day’s results won’t count in the year’s ranking. For more photos, see the album on the Mauritius Attitude Challenge’s Facebook page!
All photos copyright Xavier Koenig / Blastoff Creative